Ladysmith 6-month taxi ban a ticking time bomb for Transport MEC Kaunda

    NIU officers patrolling the eerily empty taxi rank in Queen Street

    When MEC for Transport, Community Safety & Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda banned taxis from the Klipriver Taxi Association and Sizwe Taxi Association from operating in Ladysmith for six months yesterday (December 6) with much pomp and ceremony, did he realise Ladysmith’s taxi associations’ propensity for solving problems with bullets?

    uThukela and Alfred Duma mayors Mazibuko and Madlala  sat on either side of Kaunda in silence as he laid down the law.

    uThukela and Alfred Duma mayors Mazibuko and Madlala sit on either side of Kaunda

    To be specific, he evoked Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act, 2009, Act No. 5 of 2009 – which gives the MEC power to apply extraordinary measures – aimed at saving people’s lives.

    The result is that no taxis are moving in town, with a handful of buses trying to fill in the massive vacuum they have left behind.

    Also read: MEC bans taxis in Ladysmith for 6 months

    In the outer rural areas, reports are filtering in that taxi drivers are stopping workers from boarding buses and preventing those in private cars from reaching town.

    Also read: Mass shooting on the N11 near Ladysmith – 10 dead

    Why this is such a gamble for the MEC is rather simple: all past problems relating to the taxi industry in Ladysmith have been solved with the clatter of assault rifles. Will this be any different?

    Can the small police presence in town really protect commuters and bus drivers from possible revenge attacks?

    Reports of violence have started filtering in from Roosboom, where vehicles are being stoned.

    Let us know what you think in the comments section below…

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    Rod Skinner

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